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outside

Outdoor Ice Play

Painting ice is perfect fot a hot summer's day - painted ice flower kid's arts & crafts

I don’t know how the weather has been where you are, but the past few days here have been hot, like really hot. I love the outdoors, but am not a fan of the heat. We made some simple sidewalk paint out of cornstarch & water & were eager to play with it. Because of the heat, I packed a big bowl of ice just to help keep us cool. It turned out that that giant bowl of ice turned into a day of icy fun. I took a few cubes out & put my bare feet on top of them to keep cool, but my daughter grabbed some cubes out of the bowl & started creating.

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She formed a flower with some ice cubes & then grabbed our sidewalk paint and painted the cubes. She was very excited about how pretty her flower was. I grabbed a couple of leaves & a stem to finish it off. She loved it.

 

Painting ice is perfect fot a hot summer's day - painted ice flower kid's arts & crafts .

She continued to form designs with the cubes. She dipped the cubes in the paint, she painted them with her brush & we even had ice cubes races to see which colored cubes would melt the farthest.

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We went through many bowls of ice cubes. Since my daughter loves vinegar & baking soda, we added some into the mix & made icy baking soda eruptions.

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Vinegar & baking soda volcanoes on ice. Fun & messy outdoor science play for kids

After we used up our last bowl of ice & all of our baking soda, we finally used our paints for a few sidewalk designs.

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Painting ice is perfect fot a hot summer's day - painted ice flower kid's arts & crafts

Nature Painting

Nature painting - kid's arts & crafts summer activities

Summertime is a fun time for a toddler. It is a fun time for mommy & daddy as well. My daughter loves the outdoors. Just being outside makes her smile. It is very difficult to get her back in the house once we have taken that first step out the door.

We have been spending so much time on outdoor activities, playing ball, going to the park, riding bikes, etc… It  has been wonderful, but I have found myself missing our arts & crafts time together. For me, teaching Mai creativity is just as important as teaching her ABC’s.

So this week, we combined the two & had a painting picnic in our backyard. I told Mai we were going to paint rocks & leaves, so we went around the yard & gathered some up.

 I wiped down the rocks and the leaves and we started painting using the rocks first. The rocks made a lovely canvas. The tiny crystal granules in the rock glistened with each paint stroke causing a few “Oooooooohs & ahhhhs” from my daughter. “So sparkly.” First Mai helped mommy paint her rock in purple before creating her own rock masterpiece.  I would tell her, “Mai paint with green” & she would make swirls with the green, “Now do pink” & she would dab her rock with pink. She thought this was a funny game.

The leaves were fun too. I showed Mai what I was doing which was painting a different color between the veins of the leaf. “Ooooooh, good job mama.” This is still a bit too complicated for her 2 year old hands, but she did a great job adding different lines & swirls on her leaf.

With my daughter’s attention span as it is there was a lot of other activities squeezed in between brush strokes & the completion of our nature works of art, but it was a fun craft with free canvas and one we could enjoy in the sun.

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20 Outdoor Toddler Activities

outdooractivities.jpgSpring is here & so is the beautiful weather. There is something about the spring and the summer that just makes you happier. Anyone that has ever had the winter blues knows what I am talking about. The warmth of the season brings calm and contentment. Being outdoors has proven to relieve stress and aid in sleep. This is not just the case for us adults, but also for our little ones.

One of my daughter’s favorite sayings is “Mama, I’m so busy.”. She really is. Toddler’s days are so jam packed with learning, exploring, playing & creating. My kiddo has a lot of energy. After being cooped up in the house all winter she is ready to get out and burn some of it off.

There are so many outdoor activities to occupy their active minds and bodies & most you can do without ever leaving your backyard…

1. Go for a walk or a hike – This is not only great exercise for your child, but for you. A nice family walk after dinner is a great way to bond. Bring your furry baby too if you have one.

2. Have a picnic – Pack up your lunch or dinner and bring it outside and enjoy it in the sunshine.

3. Have a scavenger hunt – Scavenger hunts aren’t just for eggs at Easter. Give your child a list of things in nature to find. Have her find and gather a pine cone, acorns, sticks or place some inside objects outside to find.

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4. Do some outside art – Sidewalk paint or chalk, squirt gun painting on a sheet..there are many outdoor mess-worthy activities for your little artists.

5. Play tag – Or as my daughter calls it “Mama, chase me.” 3271

6. Make an obstacle course – One of my daughter’s favorite things are her fabric tunnels. Make a course with tunnels, slides, hurdles, cones and other fun obstacles.

7. Play ball – Kick around a soccer ball, throw a baseball or shoot hoops if you have one. This will help with hand-eye coordination.

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8. Ride bikes – Don’t forget their helmet.

9. Play hopscotch – I don’t know about your toddler, but mine loves to jump. This also aids in coordination.

10. Fly a kite – I have actually never flown one, but Mai talks about flying a kite often. We will have to make one & give it a try.

11. Gardening – Toddlers love to emulate and help us. They also like to dig. Combine all three and that spells happiness.

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12. Go swimming – What is more refreshing or fun on a hot day.

13. Toss water balloons – SPLAT!

14. Take the books outside – Seat on your porch or swing on a hammock and read to each other out into the fresh air.

15. Have a nature lesson – Thanks to Nanna, Mai has learned a lot about different flowers. She can differentiate and name the different flowers in our yard.

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16. Pick flowers – My daughter proudly picked some violets for me. They reside in a small shot glass in our kitchen. “Mama, smell the violets that Mai Mai pick.” They smell beautiful.

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17. Wash your cars – Sudsy soap and a hose = fun. If they have a little push car of their own, let them clean their own car, while you do yours.

18. Run through the sprinkler – This was one of my favorite things to do when I was little.

19. Blow bubbles – Kids love bubbles. They love blowing them, chasing them & popping them.

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20. Play on the swings – Swing on the swings, slide down the slide. Both are so free & liberating. Enjoy the season & be safe. Be sure to use sunscreen and bug spray. Explore, learn, play & just have fun.

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What outdoor activities do your children enjoy?